Five 1,500-Year-Old Gold Foil Figures Unearthed in Norway

Norway Gold FoilLILLEHAMMER, NORWAY—An additional five pieces of stamped gold foil have been uncovered at Hov, a site discovered in eastern Norway in 1993, where a total of more than 30 such gold foil figures have been found, according to a Science Norway report. The area is now being excavated ahead of a road construction project. The clothing, hairstyles, beads, brooches, cups, and drinking horns depicted on the gold figures suggest that they date to Norway’s Merovingian period, which began in A.D. 550. Three of the newly discovered pieces were discovered in a spot where the wall of a small temple is thought to have stood. The other two were found in separate post holes. “Based on what we have interpreted as post holes, it’s not unreasonable to think that a building has stood here that has looked the same for several hundred years,” said archaeologist Kathrine Stene. Many of the other pieces of gold foil were recovered in and around another post hole at the site. Stene thinks the gold may have been placed as an offering or as an act to protect the building, which may have been used by elites for drinking ceremonies or other rituals, she explained. To read about the discovery of a Norwegian king’s wharf, go to “Royal Wharf.”


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